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  • Eaten Alive

    Eaten Alive

    A hotel on the outskirts of a twilit ghost town bathed in an artificial red haze, filled with a succession of rugs instead of carpet and illuminated by dozens of lamps instead of central lighting. This hotel is a failure of homeliness, a misuse of familiar elements (wardrobes in bathrooms, single beds in double rooms) that render it as inhospitable as its owner, a lonely, disturbed man who clearly wants to be among people but can't get close to anyone,…

  • The Color of Money

    The Color of Money

    A retired pool hustler turned whiskey salesman drinks a can of coke in a practice room after working on his game, as if to embrace the new-school, sugar-rush attitudes that have made him obsolete. His maniacally arrogant student values the short term thrill of a victory over the long term reward of making people believe you're a loser and taking their money when you show them that you're not. There's no time to wait for craft anymore. It's about the rush. Quick money for a quick game. Coke sells by the can while his whiskey fills boxes in storerooms. It doesn't sell anymore.

  • Loft

    Loft

    "perhaps she regrets it now, swallowing all that mud" // "what you write gets published, that's the nature of being a pro"

    Kurosawa's Twixt, in many ways. The stagnation of an award-winning author out of ideas, commissioned to churn out a generic, marketable romance novel and embroiled in a ghost story that may or may not be a fiction. "The eternal corpse," used here to describe a 1000 year old "mummy" preserved virtually intact by the mud of a swamp…

  • Bastards

    Bastards

    'it's good of you to take over"
    "it's normal, it's family"

    not even close to as opaque as i remember, but doubly horrifying — what hit me this time was how quickly and silently the tables are turned on Vincent Lindon, the captain of a ship forced to rent a tiny apartment, who sells his car and waits at a bus stop; stripped of his agency while thinking he's in control, until he's totally powerless to wield any influence over his devastated family, stranded on the hard shoulder trying to cross a motorway in the middle of the night. Costs outweigh benefits. Bad business.

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball

    "i got uptown problems, which are not problems at all"

    letting people in to decorate the mausoleum until it becomes a home — but you still have to die in it.

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    traffic sounds like the ocean if you need it to

  • Retribution

    Retribution

    I'm dead. Please, I wish everybody would die, too.
    I'm dead. Please, I wish everybody would die, too.
    I'm dead. Please, I wish everybody would die, too.
    I'm dead.

    the living poring over the bones of the past, wasteland begging to be used again, ghosts longing to live again — nothing but agonising loneliness; dying permanence, living death.

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    "maybe i'm not good enough"
    "yes you are"

    the failure of analog: boarded up revival houses, electronic pianos, radio crackle, fake stars, purple skies, kisses interrupted by ringtones and projector burnouts — die alone with your dreams, live forever with your compromises. A rebel without a cause. A city of stars.

  • Creepy

    Creepy

    "I like dogs, but I'm not used to them"

    everything is so visible but never fully in view, partially obscured by glass, plants, fences, polythene, curtains, civility, but never totally out of sight — a film about missing the trees for the wood.

  • Sully

    Sully

    "a man with no time became a man for all time"

    also a man trapped in time

  • The Happiest Girl in the World

    The Happiest Girl in the World

    something i noticed here that i've never really paid much attention to in cinema: Jude sets an editing routine from the start, only ever cutting away to a new location / time period (pans accommodate movement, or characters speak to voices off-screen), giving the illusion of time passing. Straightforward.

    But during every scene in which Delia argues with her parents about what is going to happen to the car she's just won, Jude breaks this routine and cuts between different…

  • Margaret

    Margaret

    meaningless detail, maybe: an ad above a subway for a broadway play with the words "sold out" emblazoned on it, as if the only way to make something successful is to tell people they can't have it to make them want it, and to give them the impression that they're part of the conversation if they go after it — and isn't that what we all want? No surprise, really, that a large portion of this movie takes place in…